It is extraordinary that even in this day and age, once an employee has concluded a settlement agreement with the employer and the employee afterwards is advised that was not adequate, the matter is still referred to the CCMA or to the Bargaining Council Arbitrations. Unfortunately, on many occasions, the CCMA entertains such a dispute although it is not within their power to do so. Any sort of agreement, no matter how strange or unfair ousts the jurisdiction of the CCMA. It is only competent for the Labour Court to decide whether the agreement has been adhered to or whether it has been unfairly induced. This stretches the oral agreements if there are witnesses to same.

We have seen many occasions at the CCMA where at Arbitration level, the Commissioner has purported to try and entertain a claim of this nature. Once the argument is raised, this is thrown out. Even if the employer has reneged on the agreement and has refused to pay or it has been agreed upon, this does not give the CCMA jurisdiction. It must still be referred to the Labour Court for judgement.

Contact Bernard Reisner 021 423 3959 or e-mail